Vanishing Point Starring: Barry Newman, Cleavon Little Director: Richard C. Sarafian The film: Written at the request of Chrysler, which wanted a movie featuring its newest model, this existential cult road movie tails Kowalski, a former policeman and ex-racing driver who now makes his living delivering cars from city to city. On a whim, Kowalski bets a friend that he can drive his latest assignment, a supercharged Dodge Challenger, from Colorado to San Francisco in 15 hours - a feat that requires an average speed of 140km/h. Loading up on handfuls of speed pills, he roars off into the desert, but - not surprisingly, considering his apparent contempt for the highway code - finds himself on the run from the law in roughly the time it takes his Challenger to go from zero to 60. So begins a cross-country pursuit that's equal parts spirited car-chase and spiritual odyssey as Kowalski encounters all-manner of curious characters while trying to stay one step ahead of the police. He's helped in his endeavours by Super Soul (Cleavon Little), a blind radio DJ who does his best to guide Kowalski through the roadblocks the police have set up to trap him, as well as the pitfalls of his amphetamine-charged mind. Little, later to find brief fame as the black sheriff in Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles, delivers a memorable performance as the jive-talking DJ-cum-shaman and is the medium for much of the soul and gospel music that makes up the film's excellent soundtrack, as well as the source of some supremely quotable soliloquies. Super Soul's sermons provide many of the film's most iconic moments and have since been appropriated to good effect on albums by acts as disparate as Primal Scream and Guns N' Roses. The character of Kowalski, however, is much more elusive. Although flashbacks offer a glimpse into his ruminations, as his white Challenger ploughs its lonely furrow through the desert, only the merest hints of his character are revealed, overshadowed by the increasingly symbolic nature of his wayward quest. His is a journey through the dissipating fragments of the American dream in the fallout at the beginning of the 1970s. Like the freewheeling bikers in Easy Rider, to which Vanishing Point owes a huge debt, Kowalski speeds towards the horizon as if he can somehow outrun the shackles of society and attain the freedom that had seemed so much more tangible when the 60s were still in full swing. Accompanied by stunning scenery and sweet soul music, Kowalski ultimately becomes both counter-culture hero and stop-at-all-costs nemesis of the establishment as the film hurtles towards an emotionally resonant ending that manages to surprise while seeming, in retrospect, strangely inevitable. The extras: A detailed commentary and cast interviews would be nice, but the original theatrical trailer is all you get on this one.